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Hyundai, Uber show electric VTOL air-taxi concept

  • Magazine Article
  • 20AUTP03_11
Published March 01, 2020 by SAE International in United States
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  • English

Hyundai at CES 2020 revealed a fullsize electric vertical-takeoff-and-landing (eVTOL) “air taxi” concept and confirmed it has joined Uber's aerial ride-share initiative known as Elevate. Hyundai said the S-A1 concept, in addition to its VTOL configuration, is designed for cruising speeds up to 180 mph (290 km/h) for trips of up to 60 miles (97 km). Operating altitudes are targeted at between 1,000 to 2,000 ft. (300 to 600 m) for the four-passenger vehicle. The S-A1's performance is within Uber Elevate's broad guidance for urban aero-rideshare designs.

The craft's distributed-electric, multiple-rotor configuration further increases safety, the company claims, while having several smaller rotors reduces overall flight noise. Hyundai added that the eventual goal is for the aerial taxi to operate without a pilot. But the most significant aspect of Hyundai joining Uber Elevate may be the automaker's established capability in high-volume, high-quality vehicle production. Hyundai is the first automaker to join the Uber Elevate effort.